(File photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)
NEW YORK -- Barnes & Noble Inc. executives expect to close about 20 stores annually over the next 10 years, as consumer demand shifts to digital books.
The bookseller will reduce its number of stores to 450 to 500 stores over that period, Mitchell Klipper, CEO of the bookseller, told The Wall Street Journal. That's down from the 689 retail stores it operated as of Jan. 23. It also operates a chain of 674 college stores.
Until 2009, Barnes & Noble also opened 30 or more locations a year, but this fiscal year, it has opened only two.
The company reported an 11 percent decline in store revenue this holiday season, and sales of its Nook tablets both in stores and online fell during the season. But Klipper estimated that fewer than 20 of its retail stores, or less than 3 percent, lose money. The stores generated $317 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in fiscal 2012.
Barnes & Noble has 14 stores in metro Atlanta.